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Souad Ali Ahmadieh

After a long journey of ‘hide and seek’ through winding roads, we finally stepped into her small, neat and clean ‘mankoushe’ shop. We were looking for a client who would accept to cross social barriers and openly reveal their personal experience of micro finance. In Souad Ali Ahmadieh, we found not only this but an inspiring story of success. In her late forties, Souad has four children and an unemployed husband who suffers from chronic disease. The burden of single-handedly raising a family in a male-dominated society, and educating her children to turn them into effective individuals in society, never made Souad lose her smile that radiates with optimism and hope. Ambitious and proud, Souad states that the USD 2,500 micro credit she received from Fransabank “shortened the road to her dream” of enabling her children to pursue their education and of expanding her ‘mankoushe’ business.

Souad inherited the ‘mankoushe’ talent from her mom whom she used to help when she was a kid. As the responsibilities and demands of her family grew, especially after her husband resigned from work, Souad’s determination to find a solution for her family’s desperate financial situation grew further. She often knocked on the doors of traditional banks looking for any possible solution but with no result. An NGO in her small town heard her cry and directed her to Fransabank’s ‘Ameen’ micro credit loan.

Fransabank’s specialized team conducted a one-to-one field visit to Souad’s small ‘mankoushe’ business to evaluate her case. They assisted her in directing her capital and growing her current micro business. When added to the USD 1,200 she had saved penny by penny from the business, the Fransabank loan helped Souad buy a bigger oven, change her shop’s interior and build metal shelves to carry her new business line that included fresh drinks and chocolate along with other confectionary. By improving her production both quantitatively and qualitatively, Souad was able to increase her sales. Souad is particularly proud of that fact she was able to compete with two neighboring ‘mankoushe’ shops which ultimately ended up closing their businesses. We left Souad’s shop not only with a wonderful experience of the taste of her ‘mankoushe’ (which, in a savvy marketing move, she insisted we try so we could spread the word to others), but also with striking memories of a woman who withstood all social and financial barriers to fulfill her dream of giving her family a decent life. Her optimism, belief and faith make all of us at Fransabank extremely proud of any small initiative we can take to help individuals like Souad look forward to a better tomorrow. With just a small amount of money, major strides can be taken to not only improve lives but to empower women and reinforce their valuable role in society.​​